Chief executive's praise of education chief will make things worse, says union Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen yesterday threw his weight behind education chief Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun, whose recent remarks over the suicides of two teachers angered the education sector. A teachers' union leader warned that Mr Tsang's remarks would fuel dissatisfaction among teachers unhappy about heavy workloads caused by education reforms. 'If you add up the wrong remarks I've made over my 39 years of public service, I believe it would be enormous,' Mr Tsang said in a question-and-answer session with lawmakers. 'But one thing is certain, Mrs Law's enthusiasm in education is second to nobody's.' Mr Tsang has weighed into the controversy after Mrs Law questioned why only two teachers had killed themselves if work pressure arising from a series of education reforms was related to their deaths. In his opening remarks, Mr Tsang warned against further speculation on the reasons for the suicides. 'The suicides of two teachers have drawn different comments in the community over the past two days. Frankly speaking, I don't know the reasons for the suicides. But making speculation or imposing reasons on the deceased is disrespectful to them,' the chief executive said. The government had already responded swiftly to help relieve stress with an additional funding package of $1.65 billion, he said. 'No matter what the cause of the death is, the consequence is positive. We shouldn't dwell on what Mrs Law has said. We should be more lenient,' Mr Tsang said. Legislator Cheung Man-kwong, chairman of the Professional Teachers' Union, criticised Mr Tsang for siding with Mrs Law. 'Accepting an opinion from a subordinate without filtering it is very dangerous,' he said. 'Many teachers will feel even more aggrieved by what Mr Tsang said. His remarks will also fuel the dissatisfaction already bubbling in some teachers.' Meanwhile, Mrs Law insisted yesterday that education reforms were bearing fruit. 'We should not abandon the reforms halfway through,' she said. Speaking at the recording of a radio programme, Mrs Law said teachers had to be supported. 'I realise that teachers are very busy, especially after the introduction of the education reforms. Principals and teachers must support and co-operate with one another, and parents and students should show gratitude to teachers.' Also present at the recording was Lawrence Yu Cheong-hing, principal of Tai Po Yuk Secondary School of Seventh-Day Adventists, who welcomed the extra funding for schools proposed by Secretary for Education and Manpower Arthur Li Kwok-cheung, but considered it to be too short-term.